Meet your new Business Woman of the Year
Susanna Lawson, cofounder and director of OneFile, has been crowned Business Woman of the Year.
During the prestigious Forward Ladies award ceremony on Friday in Leeds, Susanna walked away with not one, but two awards – including overall business woman of the year.
After winning in the regional digital category in October, Susanna and her Mum arrived at the ceremony excited to hear if she’d been successful on a national level. She won the digital award, but was taken by complete surprise when she was then awarded National Business Woman of the Year for her ‘drive, passion and innovation.’
Jennifer Crawley, head of the judging panel and UK deputy director of small businesses for HSBC, said: ‘her organisation has pioneered the edtech revolution for over a decade and has had significant impact on the sector – so much so that she was the proud winner of the 2017 Queen’s Award for Innovation.’
Susanna’s achievements are phenomenal. She’s the cofounder and director of OneFile – the UK’s leading learning software for vocational training. Since starting out in their Manchester home, Susanna and her husband Chris have built OneFile into a global brand, used by hundreds of thousands of learners around the world.
OneFile now employs over 85 members of staff, and is moving to new larger offices in Arndale House, Manchester city centre next week. OneFile also won the 2017 Queen’s Award for Innovation – one of the most prestigious accolades for UK businesses. With this kind of achievement under her belt, it’s no surprise Susanna won in the digital category.
But it’s not just her business prowess that won her a Forward Ladies award. The judges cited her drive, passion and innovation as some of the qualities that make Susanna such an inspirational winner. She regularly speaks at events across the UK, and uses this platform to promote learning, inspire others, and pioneer technology for apprenticeships. It’s this passion for a great cause that has fuelled her business, and developed OneFile into the market-leader it is today.
Susanna always wants to make a difference for the people around her – whether that’s the young people she employs or apprenticeship leaders from overseas. Susanna has always made a conscious effort to support those in her community, giving long-term unemployed people the opportunity to work and giving staff time off to complete voluntary work.
Susanna also supports apprenticeships overseas. She’s a member of the Transatlantic Apprenticeship Exchange Forum, and is helping American leaders pioneer apprenticeships in the US.
Susanna helps other business owners as part of the Santander business mentoring programme – and it was actually one of these mentees who nominated Susanna for a Forward Ladies Award in the first place.
It’s this outstanding commitment to a great cause that makes Susanna Lawson the worthy winner of Business Woman of the Year. Griselda Togobo, managing director of Forward Ladies, said: ‘We’ve had another fantastic award ceremony. We’ve had women and business leaders from all over the country descend on Yorkshire, and we could not be more proud of the winners we’ve had today.’
The Forward Ladies awards celebrate the UK’s best business women – so for Susanna to be crowned Business Woman of the Year in such a high calibre group is a huge achievement. We’re so proud of Susanna, and know that everyone who knows her – especially those across the sector – will be cheering her on. Congratulations Susanna!
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